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Automatic Camera Tracking Can Enhance Video Calls – With Help From The MXA920

Camera control systems enhance videoconference engagement if they know where to aim the camera. Learn how the MXA920 enables accurate camera control.
October, 04 2022 |
MXA920 ceiling array microphone for microphone-based camera control


Videoconferences have all but replaced audio-only calls as the preferred means of business communication.  Even for impromptu chats, video provides an added element of realism and engagement.

On many calls, there will be some people sitting in a conference room and some joining in from a laptop.  This can result in a disparity between how different people appear on the screen.  People calling in from a laptop or desktop computer are close to the camera, so their faces fill the frame.  But meeting rooms typically include a single camera placed above or below the video monitor that shows everyone at the table at once.  The wide camera angle and the greater distance from each person to the camera often makes it hard to tell who is speaking or to catch facial expressions.

Microphone-Based Camera Control

Some organizations are turning to microphone-based camera control systems to solve this problem.  These systems receive data from the audio system that indicates where the talker is in the room, which allows the camera system to show a group of people or even an individual (depending on its capabilities). 

But getting professional-looking results from a microphone-based camera control system makes it essential that the microphone delivers accurate information about who is talking and where they are.  Delays and errors in microphone activation or direction don’t just result in poor sound; they cause errors in camera activation or positioning.  Here’s how the MXA920 ceiling array microphone provides not only pristine sound quality but accurate talker location information for your camera system.

How the MXA920 Enables Better Camera Tracking

Fast and reliable microphone activation.  When a person in the room speaks, the MXA920’s IntelliMix DSP activates microphone coverage immediately.  With more than 100 microphone elements and advanced digital signal processing, the MXA920 is able to identify the location of multiple talkers at the same time and report these to the camera system within 100 milliseconds.

No false alarms.  The MXA920 uses state-of-the-art Voice Activity Detection to ensure that the microphone only responds to voices and not to random noises in the room, like someone typing on a keyboard or opening a bag of chips.  This prevents the camera from reacting to non-voice sounds and showing a person who is not speaking.

A choice of location information.  Different room sizes, meeting formats, or camera systems may demand different levels of location accuracy.  The MXA920 provides real-time indication of which coverage area each talker is in, which pickup lobe is covering them, and X/Y/Z-axis coordinates for each talker’s location.  These can allow a camera system to show the talker within a general area, in a cluster of people, or individually depending on the number of different camera angles available or other factors.

When natural interactivity is important, microphone-based camera control demands fast, accurate talker location data from the microphone system.  Whether you’re outfitting an executive board room or a university lecture hall, the MXA920 ceiling array microphone blends natural, intelligible audio with superior talker location information to enable automated camera tracking that enhances videoconferences.

Talk to a product specialist about the MXA920 and microphone-based camera control

Chris Lyons
Chris Lyons is a 30-year Shure veteran who has filled a variety of different marketing and public relations roles. His specialty is making complicated audio technology easy to understand, usually with an analogy that involves cars or food. He doesn't sing or play an instrument, but he does make Shure Associates laugh once in a while.

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